MAY I INTRODUCE TO YOU . . . DEVRY DENNIS
I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Devry Dennis and her blog, Down Home Genealogy, described as, “. . . The blog features my genealogy research, along with research tips and anything else I find useful that is related to genealogy. The majority of my ancestors settled in Tennessee and Alabama, but my research spans far beyond.”
Devry, please tell us a little about yourself.
“I was born, raised and still live in Nashville, Tennessee. I am a rare Nashville native. Most people are transplants to Music City USA. I have ancestors who were early Nashville pioneers.”
Devry, what got you started in Genealogy?
“Early on in school I always loved history. During my high school years, I went to a genealogy fair in Wayne County, Tennessee with my mom and Uncle Johnny, where my grandmother (their mom) is originally from. It made me want to learn more about my ancestors. My Uncle Johnny gave me a copy of Family Tree Maker software for my birthday shortly after that, and I started my own research then. It’s been about 14 years now.”
Why Devry created her blog and her thoughts on blogging.
“A few years ago, my mom suggested that I create a website containing our family tree and history. I decided on September 20, 2016 to create a blog to share my research and hopefully turn up in a few Google search results if someone was also researching my ancestors. My mom originally suggested the name “Down Home Genealogy”, because she said as a child her mother always talked about going back to Wayne County, Tennessee as going “down home”. It gives me the feeling of going back to my roots.”
Devry, what research tool or source has been particularly helpful in researching your family history?
“I always do a Google search to see if the county my ancestor is from has a genealogy page. Sometimes they have county records there that you can’t find anywhere else. It has been extremely helpful.”
What tips can you share with someone just starting a family history blog?
“I think genealogy blogging is half research, half heart. Just write from your heart. Find your own writing style. I like to write memorials or short biographies about my ancestors, but your style might be completely different. Whatever you write about, it’s important to really enjoy the topic, or you won’t stick with it.”
Devry, what other genealogy blogs inspire you?
“I am new to the world of genealogy bloggers, so I’ve just started branching out. A neat blog I enjoy is Paper and Roots Genealogy. She posts her research along with paper crafts she creates, which are beautiful.”
What has been your most exciting genealogy discovery through research?
“If I had to pick, I’d say it’s when I discovered the identity of my grandfather’s great-grandmother, Martha Harris Windsor. It was a mix of research and my grandfather’s DNA test. That was the topic of my first blog post.”
Devry’s favorite blog post.
“I wrote a post about Jane Boyd, my third great-grandmother. I have a soft spot for her. She experienced a lot in her lifetime, and was such a strong woman.”
Devry, who is your favorite ancestor?
“My grandmother, Ruth Harper. I haven’t wrote a blog about her yet, because I want to make sure I get it perfect and I’d like to put a lot of time into it. She was my best friend. She passed away 20 years ago, but left a lasting impression on me. I was very lucky to call her my Nana.”
How much time do you get to spend on research?
“Being a mom with a full-time job, I don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like to, but I try to squeeze time in for my favorite hobby. I’d say at least a few hours a week.”
What family story or heirlooms do you cherish most?
“I never got to meet my grandfather Fred Harper. He was in the Army Air Force in World War II. He made a clock out of a wood airplane propeller. It’s very neat and I’m glad it was passed down to my family.”
Devry, how has genealogy improved your life?
“I have a better understanding about where my ancestors were from, some things they witnessed, and how things fell into place for me to end up where I am today. I am amazed by the strength of my ancestors. They ventured to a new country, they fought in the Revolutionary War and spent the winter at Valley Forge, they raised children on their own after losing their husband in the Civil War, etc. It makes me proud to know I am related to some extraordinary people.”
What do you love most about doing your genealogy?
“I love when I make a new discovery, or finally unite pieces of the puzzle for an ancestor. Even small discoveries really excite me. I love preserving my family history for future generations.”
Devry, what is on your genealogy bucket list?
“Too many things to list! I would love to visit places my ancestors are from.”
If you wanted to leave a message for future generations, what would you say to them?
“I would tell them to preserve history now. Talk to your grandparents, parents and family elders. Record precious details and stories.”
Please take a moment to visit Devry at Down Home Genealogy. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Devry, it’s great to have you here!
© 2017, copyright Gini Webb. All rights reserved.
Gini Webb lives in San Diego, California and manages her own blog, Ginisology, while also researching her own German heritage, retired, enjoying life with wonderful husband Steve and visiting with her grandchildren! Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Gini Webb via e-mail.